Thursday, December 23, 2010

He Knew How to Keep Christmas Well

Dear Misfits,
Sorry.  I’m about a week late with a report of our discussion of A Christmas Carol, our December book.   So let me get right to it—it is a wonderful classic that has helped define the “spirit” of Christmas for millions of readers since Charles Dickens published it in December, 1843.  It also generated one of the best book discussions we have had in several years.  All of the men  at our meeting had read the story in a Christmas past but to a man, declared it was even better than remembered
Dickens called his story “A Christmas Carol in Prose “.  To complete the imagery of a “Carol”, he divides the story into five “Staves”, a stave being “a verse or stanza of a poem or song”.  He also called it “A Ghost Story of Christmas”.   But it is not a scary ghost story for the reader.  It is only scary for Scrooge. 
Misfit Loome noted that each of the Ghosts were very benign spirits especially the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present.   Both of these spirits were very communicative while conducting Scrooge on a tour of his life culminating in the greed of his present life.  Then a third and final spirit visits Scrooge.  He is a silent phantom clad in a hooded black robe.  The Phantom Spirit presents Scrooge with an ominous view of the future and of a lonely death.  This is the most Christian part of the Carol…it presents Scrooge with a Memento Mori moment which leads him to a redemptive change of heart.  The story ends happily for Scrooge and for each of us.  It concludes with the observation that ”it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge.  May that be truly said of us, and all of us!  And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One! “  Yes, God Bless Us, Every One!
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